Klaus Jöns and former Nationals champion Jörg Unfried are well known in Germany, have been testing together and would be expected to post a good result. So far, neither of the two did, though. "I keep drawing worse than in testing", Unfried complained as the players bantered before the match. "We've played this match a hundred times!" said Jöns. "Today is not my day. If I lose against Jörg, I'll have to drop."
Jöns had brought Valakut to the table. Unfried had decided on Mono-Red Goblins. Both players came to the feature match area with an 0-2 record, already on the brink of elimination from Top 8 contention.
Jöns kicked off with two mulligans, neither wanting to keep a hand with double Titans nor a hand without lands. His five cards he kept. Unfried had the first play, though, with Goblin Guide giving Jöns a land – and another one, and another one. Unfried kept killing Jöns' mana walls with direct damage, Arc Trail and Searing Blaze, and plinked away at his life total to take him to 10.
After Jöns played Pyroclasm to kill the Goblin, Hero of Oxid Ridge gave Unfried 4 hasty damage and took Jöns to 6. Stormblood Berserker and Immolating Souleater completed Unfried's side of the board. Jöns had Primeval Titan to search out Valakut, but even three damage wouldn't save him.
After the game, Jöns mulled over if he should have used his Pyroclasm earlier to kill the Goblin Guide. He concluded that after a mulligan to five, he needed the extra chance for lands. Overall, his deck just had not delivered fast enough – thinking back, Jöns saw no out he could have found to win this game.
Klaus Jöns 0 – 1 Jörg Unfried
Jöns decided to play first again, but once more, Unfried had Goblin Guide from the start. "Can you start just one game without Goblin Guide?", Jöns complained. Unfried smiled. "No", he said, "especially since you are so annoyed about this."
This time, though, Jöns had no reason to hope for land draws off the Goblin Guide and kept the 2/2 at bay with Tumble Magnet. Rampant Growth helped him find more land, and Pyroclasm killed the Goblin Guide and an Immolating Souleater Unfried had just played.
Grim Lavamancer from Unfried continued to beat down, taking Jöns to 13. Manic Vandal from Unfried took away Jöns Tumble Magnet and sent him raging: "I am playing just two Tumble Magnets! You only boarded those in because you knew I'd play those Magnets! I'll never test with you again." But things looked up für Jöns, as he drew Primeval Titan, bringing his Mountain count to four and his Valakut count to three.
One attack from the Titan would allow him to search for the last Mountain and Valakut and outright kill Unfried – who had Act of Treason to draw out his loss, but that wasn't enough to turn the game around at the last minute.
Klaus Jöns 1 – 1 Jörg Unfried
"So, Jörg, what do you say to this: No Goblin Guide for you, no Pyroclasm for me?" Unfried did not agree to that, while Jöns took his third and fourth mulligan of the match: "Double Valakut, double Titan, there's no way you can keep that."
And once more, Unfried opened with Goblin Guide, following up with Sparkshot Elder, only to have both fall to Pyroclasm from Jöns. Immolating Souleater came down, as did Tumble Magnet on Jöns' side of the board. Unfried had gone to 18 from his fetchlands, so Jöns had to comment: "The magical 18 has been reached! You are already dead!"
Of course, Unfried wasn't actually dead yet. Hero of Oxid Ridge dealt four damage to Jöns who decided to use his Tumble Magnet on Immolating Souleater instead of the Hero. Looking at his cards in hand, Jöns figured out a plan. Rampant Growth and Terramorphic Expanse enabled him to get exactly to Titan mana. He played Primeval Titan with a second one in his hand. But he was on a mere 8 life, and Unfried had Act of Aggression out of the sideboard to steal Jöns' Titan. The single Tumble Magnet could not hold off Jöns' own Titan, Hero of Oxid Ridge and two Immolating Souleaters, and Unfried took the third game for his first win of the day.
Again, Jöns mulled over his play choices. He debated the wisdom of his early Pyroclasm, but saw clearly that "I had no other play". Starting on five cards had severely hampered the speed of his deck. Jöns wasn't happy with that, but had to accept it nonetheless and took his third loss of the day. He didn't drop from the tournament, though – testimony of his competitive spirit. And Magic is fun,
Klaus Jöns 1 – 2 Jörg Unfried